Their birth story began on September 20 when I was 33 weeks pregnant
with the twins. At 2am I woke with pressure waves (PWs) that were
strong and intense and 10 minutes apart. Within 30 minutes, they were
5 minutes apart so we headed to the hospital. When we got there, they
checked my dilation and I was 4 cm and 75% effaced. Since it was so
early, they immediately started me on Terbutaline, antibiotics, and
steroid shots. The Terbutaline didn’t have any real effect on the
PWs, so they next started me on Magnesium Sulfate. At that point,
delivery seemed imminent. The local hospital doesn’t have the
facilities for babies prior to 35 weeks, so I was transferred by
ambulance to a hospital about 60 miles away.
I stayed on Magnesium Sulfate for 3 days and then they turned it off
to see if the labor would restart. I had PWs the whole time but they
weren’t “productive”. I stayed in the hospital 24 hours longer and
when I didn’t dilate any further, I went home. It took 2 weeks to
recuperate from the Mag-Sulfate so my mom stayed with me and cooked
On October 14, labor started again. This time I was 36 weeks. After 4
hours of PWs that were 5 minutes apart, we headed back to the
hospital. I dilated from 4 cm to 6 cm in the triage area within the
first 20 minutes. The standard procedure for delivering twins is in
the operating room (which I was okay with) so we headed straight
there. After 30 minutes or so I felt the intensity of the PWs die way
down. After spending 3 hours in the OR, I finally told the MW that I
didn’t think the PW were productive anymore. We headed to a regular
room to rest and see if the PWs picked up again. The next morning,
they were completely gone. We spent that day in the hospital, walking
the halls and seeing if we could get things going again. No luck.
At this point the OB was very reluctant to see me go home since I was
so dilated. We agreed to stay one more night and check again for
dilation in the morning. I was so tired from little sleep, walking
all day and the stress from being in the hospital again. My
confidence in my body was severely shaken with the starts and stops.
The OB on call that night came in to talk to us about doing an amnio
to check if the babies’ lungs were developed enough to induce labor.
I was so frazzled that I almost agreed. My DH was much steadier of
mind and reminded me that the babies should choose their own
birthday. There was no sign of distress in the babies and I was fine –
why induce at 36 weeks?
So the next morning, our favorite midwife (she also attended the
birth of our daughter) checked me and since there was no change,
We spent the next week getting stuff ready around the house. We are
also house-hunting since we are currently in a 2-bedroom condo with
soon-to-be 4 kids so we looked through some houses.
On the afternoon of October 21, while looking through the house that
we ultimately decided to buy, labor started again. We monitored the
PWs for a while, but then had the bloody show and very intense PWs.
So we headed in to the hospital – again. This time I was at 8 cm at
check-in (no triage this time). In about an hour I was at 9 cm and we
headed to the OR again. All this time I had been using my hypnosis
tools very effectively.
One thing was very different from my DD’s birth. This time, the OBs
really pushed the epidural. The anesthesiologist came in to talk to
me and try to convince me that epidurals are completely safe and that
I should get one “just in case”. I refused, stating that I was
consenting to deliver in the OR “just in case”. He was sure to let me
know that he would be right there in the OR if I changed my mind.
It’s odd, but the operating room is icy-cold! DH and our MW (the same
one again), made sure I had warm blankets and tried to warm me up.
Slowly I noticed that the PWs were getting less intense and spacing
further out. After an hour or so I didn’t need to focus to get
through the PWs. I asked the MW to start some pitocin at a low level,
just get things moving again. Every 30 minutes or so, they turned up
the pitocin. I would get a couple of good PWs each time it got turned
up, then they would taper all the way down again. I was getting
discouraged – I thought pitocin was a sure thing; it never occurred
to me that it would not give me hard, intense PWs!
I will never forget sitting on the operating table at midnight in a
freezing cold operating room, singing great 70′s and 80′s rock songs
with the MW and nurses, dilated to 9 cm, maxed out on pitocin, and
feeling nothing. We were playing “name that song/artist” and chatting
about life in general.
Finally, at around 12:30, I asked the MW to break Andrew’s bag of
water. Thing got really intense after that. The PWs were definitely
uncomfortable at that point, but I went back to using my hypnosis
tools and stayed very much in control. I felt every sensation as
Andrew made his way out. There was pressure outward on my hips as
Andrew pushed past William. Once Andrew was out, William began to
settle into place, staying head down. William was still floating in
his bag of water, and the bag didn’t break until I was pushing him
out. It almost felt like he got “washed” out when the water
Andrew arrived at 1:00 am, October 22 and William followed at 1:28
am. It was a wild ride from the water breaking to William’s arrival.
The intense cold of the room made it very difficult to relax the way
I wanted. I birthed them both laying on my left side, but the nurse
had to pry my right leg up to allow the boys to come out because I
had my legs clamped together. There were only two things that I
remember hurting – moving that leg and having the heart monitor
touching my belly. Otherwise, it was a very satisfying experience. I
felt like I was on a high for a while after the birth, even though
our babies ended up in the NICU before I could hold them. They both
had 1 minute apgars of 8, but then had breathing problems at 4
minutes. They were both in my room with me within 12 hours, doing
great! Both immediately nursed, having nice big mouths and perfect
Both the MW and the nurses thanked me several times after the birth.
Apparently it is so rare that twins are birthed naturally and even
more so that the MW gets to catch both. I’m pretty convinced that I
would have had a c-section if I had gotten the epidural. With that
and the pitocin, I would have had failure to progress and the boys
heart rates may have suffered. I am so thankful to my supportive DH
and Hypnobabies. None of it would have been possible without them.
Three weeks later, I am tired but still feeling so powerful – amazing!
Andrew – 6lbs 11oz, 19 inches long
William – 6lbs 6 oz, 19 inches long